Divided we fall

Distractions everywhere, much to Hillary’s delight.

I suggested on Wednesday, when the departure of Ted Cruz and John Kasich from the race made Donald Trump the presumptive nominee, that people who were disappointed in the results take a deep breath and think rationally about the right step to take in light of the challenge that lies ahead – which is to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House.

No, it was not a huge surprise that many people didn’t listen. It seems par for the course in this insane presidential season. At a time when the Republican Party should be coming together behind the presumptive nominee, we’re getting bogged down by distractions from two sources.

The first part of the distraction comes from within the Republican Party. And I can’t help but note that this is the same Republican Party that is constantly telling the base it has to get behind the ultimate nominee no matter what. Remember how they pleaded with conservatives to show up for John McCain and Mitt Romney – despite widespread disappointment that a more conservative nominee wasn’t chosen – because hey, they were the nominees?

Remember how the party demanded that Donald Trump sign a pledge to support the eventual nominee, which he did?

So where is that now? That’s out the door. It apparently applies only if the establishment likes the nominee. House Speaker Paul Ryan gave the media some juicy headlines this week by announcing he was “not there yet” in deciding to endorse Donald Trump. Hillary’s campaign immediately seized upon it, and the media had a field day with it.

And for what? If Ryan has some areas of discomfort with Trump, all he had to say was that he would support the nominee even as he recognized we’ve got work to do to unify the party and prepare for the fight against Hillary. That would have made the same statement without generating the headlines. But no, Ryan had to generate a distraction.

And on and on it went. Jeb Bush announced he would vote for neither Trump nor Hillary, and that he wouldn’t be going to the convention. Fine. Maybe going to the convention is too expensive and Jeb can’t afford it. I don’t really know. Then the two former Bush presidents said they wouldn’t be going either. George H.W. Bush is in his 90s, so I certainly understand that. George W. Bush? Maybe it’s all Bush family sour grapes. I don’t know. Maybe he could have done like his former vice president, Dick Cheney, who simply said he’s going to support the nominee and left it at that. I don’t know why he didn’t.

What I do know is that we’ve got a battle ahead of us and we don’t need distractions like these. We also don’t need silly distractions like the delusional attempts by the #NeverTrump crowd to come up with a third party candidate. Did you see Sen. Ben Sasse’s statement that “we need more choices”? We started this whole thing with a field of 17 choices! It was probably the biggest Republican field in presidential history. And it included some very good choices, too. His problem is not that we didn’t have enough choices. It’s that he doesn’t like the choice the people made.

That’s why the #NeverTrumpers trotted out a list of prospective third-party candidates this week. Check this out:

Mitt Romney. So the concern is that Trump might lose? You mean like Mitt Romney?

Sen. Ben Sasse. Maybe he’s a nice guy, but who knows anything about him? He’s a freshman senator.

Gary Johnson. The libertarian former governor of New Mexico has tried it before. He couldn’t get out of single digits.

Sen. Tom Coburn. Did they even ask him? I doubt it. I also doubt he would engage in such foolishness.

Nikki Haley. She’s already said she’s not interested in such nonsense.

Sen. Rand Paul. Just like his father before him, he gave it a try and he couldn’t get out of single digits.

All any of this is doing is helping Hillary, presumably because some people think Trump and/or some of his supporters are not “true conservatives,” whatever that means. It seems one thing it should mean if you want to be a “true conservative” would be: Don’t help Hillary!

The second part of the distraction comes from within the media. Whether it’s bathroom controversies or whichever rock band doesn’t want Trump playing their songs at his rallies, they want to talk about anything but campaign substance. We noted on Friday that this site was going crazy with traffic because someone re-posted a piece we wrote on Trump’s health care proposal two months ago. Who else even bothered to tell you about it? All they’re interested in is the distractions.

Every primary season is followed by disappointment among those whose candidate didn’t win. Eventually people have to get over it. Any time now would be great, because Hillary doesn’t care how she gets to the White House. Total Republican dysfunction will be fine with her. As long as she gets the power she craves.

You think maybe it’s time to get over it and united to stop her?

Because divided we fall. And America will pay an awfully heavy price of we fall this time.

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